Saturday, 3 August 2013

Rethinking my plan

Sketchbook design for reliquary 

Having got as far as planning my reliquary in detail, my background reservations about this as a design are coming into focus.

First, the details are very personal and some of my thinking has been about how much explanation needs to be in there about what the various images might mean. And the confusing questions about whether to us what I think the Middle Ages symbolic meanings if things might have been, or to use more modern imagery with older techniques.

There is a more practical problem which is that starting to draw out detail has let me understand better quite how long making this reliquary is likely to take me. Which is far longer than would be reasonable for this first part of the course. I found in the previous OCA course that I did that being ambitious in my choice of work was generally a good thing as it encouraged me to learn new techniques and express ideas better than I expected. But there has to be a limit and I suspect this is on the other side of it.

And even more importantly, I think that this idea does not convey what I want to say clearly and cleanly enough. I want to make something that gives the idea of something magical and good being dead. And that dressing it up in ornateness is the expression of a wish that it was possible to get the miraculous thing back. My initial thought was that the dead thing was my innocent wish to make everyone else feel ok. I now think that's too complex an idea to have any power, so I'm thinking about simpler ways I can express the central regret and loss of this.

This thinking feels like a familiar part of the process of making things which, while it feels rather uncomfortable, generally leads to improvements in the final piece. So the next task is to ponder on the central idea, do some exploring, and see what pops into my head.

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